Bollywood star, Vinod Khanna, tragically died at the age of 70 on April 27 after a battle with cancer. Here’s everything you need to know about the actor.
1. He was a successful actor
Vinod Khanna made his film debut in 1968 after graduating with a commerce degree from Sydenham College in Mumbai. He played the villain in movies for several years, then went on to start playing hero roles, which is rare for Hindi actors. His first critically acclaimed performance was as an army officer facing death row in 1973s Achanak, and he began booking high grossing films, starring in dozens of Bollywood blockbusters over the years, although he took a five year break in 1982.
2. He was a politician
Vinod got into politics in 1997, when he was elected to Parliament in the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. He was named the union minister for culture and tourism in 2002, then became the ministry of external affairs six months later. After winning re-election for Gurdaspur in 2004, he held the position for five years before losing in 2009. He was elected again in 2014.
3. He spent a good amount of time in the U.S.
Vinod became a disciple of Osho, an Indian godman, in 1975. He traveled to Osho’s United States commune, Rajneeshpuram, in the 1980s, and spent five years there, where he worked as a dish cleaner and gardener.
4. He was married twice & has kids
Vinod and his first wife, Gitanjali, met in college and married in 1971. They had two sons, Rahul and Akshaye, who became Bollywood actors just like their father. During Vinod’s years of travels in the late 70s and early 80s, Vinod and Gitanjali divorced, and he married Kavita Daftary when he returned to India in 1990. They have a son, Sakshi and daughter, Shraddha.
5. He won major awards
Throughout his career, Vinod won two Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 1975 and 1979. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, and was nominated for two other Filmfare honors. Vinod also took home the Zee Cine Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and was named Role Model of the Year at the Stardust Awards in 2005.
HollywoodLifers, what were you most surprised to learn about Vinod?